Archie Gray was an unused sub against Manchester City in Sam Allardyce’s first game as Leeds United boss and in Thursday’s press conference – as per the club’s Youtube – Allardyce has responded when asked if Gray could play.
Gray, who only turned 17 last month, is widely regarded as one of the best young products to come through the Leeds academy in recent years. But the England Under-16 star is yet to make his senior debut for the Yorkshire club.
Jesse Marsch had integrated him a lot during pre-season, but he suffered an injury in a brutal tackle with Aston Villa captain John McGinn in Australia. Further injuries have surfaced, but now he is fit and firing for the Under-21 side.
Having been a part of the squad against Premier League champions City, Allardyce was asked if Gray could be used in the remaining three games of the season. He says he would not mind making the big decision to throw him in.
“It’s a big decision,” Allardyce said on Thursday in his latest press conference, when asked about Gray. “I don’t mind making big decisions but we have to calculate if it is right. The young lad has got the ability, the skill.
“It’s whether he could handle the occasion. This is a cauldron. We’ve put ourselves under pressure in the position we’re in. We could have a youngster that goes in without stress or he could freeze, the fear needs to drive them on.”
Leeds boss Sam Allardyce responds when asked if Archie Gray could play
Ask most Leeds fans the problem area of the side at the moment, and the majority will respond by saying midfield. The combination of Marc Roca and Weston McKennie has simply not worked. Adam Forshaw was drafted in at City.
But Roca was out of position for both of Ilkay Gundogan’s goals on Saturday as his form continues to dwindle. Sam Greenwood was used off the bench ahead of Gray, but if Leeds need a bit of passion, fight – Gray could be perfect.